David Brisson became Nebraska-Omaha’s career goals leader Friday with his 62nd in a nonconference 5-2 win over Bemidji State at Omaha’s Civic Auditorium.
Brisson gave the Mavericks a 2-0 lead at the 8:16 mark by undressing Beaver goalie Grady Hunt on a shorthanded breakaway. Brisson surpassed Jeff Hoggan, who now plays for the AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild.
“I’ll have to give Hogie a call this week and let him know,” Brisson quipped. “Shorthanded is the best goal you can have in hockey.”
UNO started the game off with a bang as Anthony Adams stormed down and scored his fifth goal of the season in the opening minute of the game. The ball continued to roll for the Mavericks, who broke free and scored on four of their first 11 shots, despite Bemidji’s attempts to clog the neutral zone.
“They frustrated me, I don’t know if they frustrated the team, but they frustrated me,” UNO coach Mike Kemp said. “They were playing pretty sound through neutral ice, and we kept turning it over. We fell into their trap.”
Andrew Murray pulled the Beavers within a goal at 2-1 late in the first period with a shorthander of his own. It was the second shorthanded goal in a game that saw no power-play goals.
Andrew Wong continued the quick-strike scoring just 42 seconds into the second period. Wong skated in tight and lifted the puck over the shoulder of Hunt and barely under the crossbar.
Just 34 seconds later Dan Hacker put the game out of reach with his ninth goal of the season. Hacker’s goal sent Bemidji’s Hunt skating to the bench, pulled in favor of Dannie Morgan.
Morgan stopped 10 of 11 Maverick shots in relief.
“I felt that Grady really couldn’t do anything about those goals,” head coach Tim Serratore said. “Obviously, at that particular time, you want to get a mindset change for the guys.”
Bemidji attempted a comeback as Travis Barnes slammed home a rebound on the doorstep, making the game 4-2 at 15:08 of the second.
Brisson said that the team then played a little passive in the third period and slacked off a bit. Still UNO got an insurance goal off a slot slapper from Joe Pereira to make the final score 5-2.
“Third period, I think we let down a lot,” Brisson said. “We we’re making mistakes that we weren’t making in the first two. So it was good to get the lead right away.”
Brisson, Wong, Hacker and Scotty Turner all accounted for nine Maverick points, while Brisson and Turner were each plus-3 on the night.
Dan Ellis stopped 29 of 31 Beaver shots and Bemidji failed to score on five power-play opportunities, despite registering 17 power-play shots.
“They have a good power play,” Kemp said. “Danny made some big saves on the power play — they certainly had better opportunities than we did.”
Serratore recognized the difficulty of two teams playing each other without being familiar, but thought things could have been different.
“I don’t know this team. I’ve only seen them once,” Serratore said. “If you take back the first five minutes of the first period and the first five minutes of the second period, it’s a whole new game.”